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Recognize and Prevent Depression | WEB.DE



More and more Germans struggle with depression. But many seek no help and underestimate the dangers of the disease – despite possible serious consequential injuries. Professor Martin E. Keck, chief physician at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, explains how to recognize the symptoms and help the victims.

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Depressed mood, no motivation and actually you just want to crawl in bed – we all know these days. After all, everyone in life once has boring phases.

But what happens if it gets worse? When it comes to weeks ̵

1; or even months?

Depressive disorders are among the most common and yet the most underestimated diseases. According to World Health Organization, depression is the second most common disease worldwide in 2020.

But many people in the world are afraid to seek psychotherapeutic support – although they realize they do not feel well for a long time.

Prof. Dr. Martin E. Keck, Chief Physician of the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, explains in an interview with our editors how to recognize the common depression, how it develops – and why so many people suffer from it.

Professor Dr. Keck, what's the difference between a depression and a conventional low mood?

Prof. Dr. Martin E. Keck: First of all, the duration is crucial. For depression, we have a period of at least two weeks according to the World Health Organization criteria. This means that a depressed mood must be for at least two weeks before you even talk about it.

A mood low can usually be modeled by third parties, such as family or friends. Often an event is a death, a relationship that ends, job problems or other challenges related to it.

People with low mood but usually experience positive moments. You can also look forward to something between and even laughing, even if the sadness comes back then. This is usually not the case with depression.

This means that when you suffer from depression, you have no more moments where you feel happy.

No, usually no longer. Depression is the total loss of joy. To many, instead of being sad, it is usually more of a sense of total inner emptiness. They describe their state as "erased" and have no feelings at all, and even activities that used to be fun do not lead to any more positive feelings.




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What significant signs of depression are there still?

Another typical feature that falls asleep or asleep, and those who often suffer from waking up early – begin to immediately think over loudly, so a constant reflection and mindset, which is always about the same concern.

Basically, depressive people suffer from a general lack of energy, reduced driving and a strong sense of fatigue, but also when they are out of energy. Inward, they are often very restless and nervous, and that is precisely this combination that can be very distressed for the sufferers nd.

The sense of worthlessness is also typical. At the same time, they are plagued by strong uncertainty. Even simple decisions will be a big challenge: Should I get mail from the mailbox? Do I read the newspaper? Many everyday things that we do automatically and are almost banal are a major challenge for depressants. In addition, there is pronounced hopelessness and a negative future perspective, which can lead to suicidal thoughts. According to the latest figures, 15 percent of people with suicide depression are affected.

Are there any physical symptoms?

Yes, they are very common. Difficult muscle pain, weight loss, headache, excessive sweating, lack of concentration, reduced short-term hemorrhoids, decreased attention, palpitations – all of these symptoms are the reason for dysregulation, that is, the disorder of the stress hormone system. This means that in the case of depression, the brain loses control of this system, which then continues to run at full speed. This can in turn lead to other diseases.

Therefore, depression is also referred to as a "systemic disease" which can ultimately affect many organ systems in the body, as it has been found that the depressed person is twice as high. Other serious diseases such as myocardial infarction, stroke or dementia.

What factors are important in the depression of depression?

Depression can have many causes: acute stress like loss or death social factors that require adaptation to new circumstances such as marriage, unemployment or retirement, often occur before depression, but not all patients are affected by such triggering factors. Many depression Make the patient happy Heaven.

In addition, one must investigate if there is a possible physical disease. Hyperthyroidism, adrenal gland disorders or other hormonal imbalances can trigger depression. But even diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease or even a brain tumor may be responsible. Lack of nutrients, especially vitamin B12 or folic acid, can also cause symptoms of depression. Even in women, iron deficiency can lead to severe fatigue.

Can genes also have an impact?

A genetic predisposition, that is, a personal sensitivity to respond to environmental events with depression is an important cause of depression. Terrible things happen to many people, but not everyone gets sick afterwards. Because of this, much research has been done here – and ultimately proved to require a genetic risk constellation for the disease.

The victims have small genetic changes that are activated or attenuated by some negative experiences that affect the stress hormone system. According to the current research situation, we know that this genetic risk image alone does not matter. However, in combination with an environmental event, the stress hormone system completely blocked and can lead to depression.

Why is the number of new cases so extremely strong?

There are certainly several reasons for this. One of them is that the depression is much more openly addressed today. As a result, they are more often detected and diagnosed. A few years ago, the disease was still a lot of taboo. However, as celebrities and soccer players, for example, have publicly recognized this, it is no longer so hidden in general.

This development can be of great help to men especially, because most are not so late in the therapy. Many think too long: "I have to do it myself." For them, the topic of depression is much more shameful and rarely seen as a real disease, because it is not like a broken leg during skiing, but it changes with much enlightenment.

Another great factor in the emergence of new cases is the environmental conditions which constantly challenges our stress hormone system: digitization, constant availability, the ability to do many things simultaneously, always high pressure – all these things contribute to increased stress – thus affecting the stress hormone system in the long run.

How to prevent depression in the first place?


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